The style of RB Leipzig is like Italy’s Atalanta. Managed by a 33-year old energetic and visionary coach Julian Nagelsmann, Leipzig, whose age is just 11 years old in club football, displays entertaining and attacking football. Such football has their drawbacks, but Neither Julain nor Gan Piero Gasperini stepped back to exhibit that –with the young guns around, there is no need to clip their wings.

Atalanta experienced a shocking exit courtesy of a Neymar genius at the fag end and at Lisbon, the conquerer of Anfield, Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid were expected to g through. First of all, their compactness, experience and bloody-minded-never-say-die style should squeeze Leipzig. Secondly, there would be no player named Cristiano Ronaldo in the opposition team. Thirdly, Simeone and his men are familiar with Lisbon.

But Atleti left Lisbon with their heads down.

Leipzig would feature in the semifinals of the Champions League for the first time.

Without the star Timo Werner, Leipzig started with Yussuf Poulsen as their main man upfront. – The Danish forward soon made his physical presence count, and Julian Nagelsmann’s side carved out the first opening when Marcel Halstenberg volleyed over when a corner wasn’t properly cleared after four minutes.

Peter Gulacsi held on to a Stefan Savic header at the other end, and – despite an impressive start from Leipzig – he was soon called into action again.

Yannick Carrasco got on the end of a Renan Lodi cut back, but the Hungarian goalkeeper made a smart save at his near post.

The match had the tempo if a killer-instinct and ferocity but still, defensively both the teams were firm with Leipzig center-back Dayot Upamecano particularly impressive both on and off the ball – solid defensively, taking care of Atletico’s over-isolated striker Diego Costa, he also had the confidence to bring the ball out of the back and be the starting point for Leipzig’s moves.

He almost had a goal to show for his efforts too, but after a strong spell of Leipzig pressure, his header from a corner in first-half injury time was straight at Atletico keeper Jan Oblak.

Leipzig, who had the upper hand in the first half, carried on the momentum in the second.

And five minutes after the restart they deservedly took the lead with a well-worked move.

The Bundesliga side flooded the final third with bodies and when the ball was played to Marcel Sabitzer on the right, he had five men to aim for. One of them was Olmo, and the Spanish attacker beautifully guided his header into the far corner from 10 yards.

Atletico sent on Joao Felix in response, and their big-money signing showed great skill to win a penalty. The 20-year-old duly thumped home the spot-kick past the outstretched hand of Gulacsi.

Nagelsmann introduced Tyler Adams, Amadou Haidara, and Patrik Schick, and it was the former who won the game with two minutes left.

Sabitzer sliced open the Atletico defence with a beautiful ball wide to Angelino, whose cutback found Adams. The American tried his luck from the edge of the area and – with the help of a deflection off Savic – he sent Leipzig into the last four.

Adams has been part of the system since the age of 12, coming through their New York operation before making the leap to Leipzig last year. In 27 appearances he had yet to score but then, finding space in a stretched finale to what had been a history-changing moment!

Leipzig were unsurprisingly the more enterprising of the teams, with Atletico sticking to their tried-and-tested approach under Diego Simeone – and Nagelsmann felt his players deserved their win.

“We became a little passive after it went 1-0 and it was very close,” Nagelsmann told Sky Sports.

“We definitely were a little lucky with how we scored the winner. Still, we were the better team overall and we showed maturity.”

“I can’t remember many dangerous situations Atletico had. The boys worked for this themselves, you can only have a small influence from the touchline.”

“We stayed calm after we conceded the equalizer, that was very important. We mustn’t let panic into our game.”

Nagelsmann sounds confident and he seems ready for Paris Saint-Germain and Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

But, Nagelsmann also knows how tough it would be at Benfica!


Nevertheless, the night in Lisbon had been an unforgettable one for Nagelsmann and Leipzig.

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